Wednesday, 5 December 2007


IHT Readers is a blog for readers, employees, advertisers and anyone interested in the Paris-based newspaper, The International Herald Tribune (owned by The New York Times).

You might call it a fanzine, because I am a daily addict of this newspaper. Gilles, my local postman, delivers it Monday - Saturday (distribution all being well) on what is known in the newspaper business as Day A, despite the fact I live in an extremely remote part of the Auvergne in rural France. (Something the IHT was unable to offer when I lived not more than one hour's drive from Heathrow Airport in rural England - there I was lucky if received my copy of the IHT on Day B; more frequently it was Day C, and sometimes never. More on that another time.)

I want to write about the IHT, to praise it, to critique it and to hold it to the standards that the newspaper itself proclaims, both as a New York Times property and as part of its long heritage.

My motivation is simple: I love the IHT, I believe it to be the best newspaper in the world and I would be lost without it as my primary source of world news, news analysis and opinion. Thus I have a vested interest in it succeeding and continuing as a viable business interest.

As a primary stake-holder in the newspaper - a reader (full disclosure: I receive it for free as an ex-employee of the IHT) I do not however have any influence in shaping its content, direction or future success. I could write regular letters to the owner, publisher or editor of the IHT, but I would like to create a public space where other readers and IHT stake-holders can share their views on the newspaper.

I'm not sure how frequent my postings will be, nor their content, but I do hope to open this blog to as many IHT stakeholders as possible, in particular readers. My strong guess is that there is a hardcore of IHT readers who are as addicted to the newspaper as I am, who have strong views on the paper and would like a space to share those views.

Obviously, I hope that this blog will be read by readers and other stake-holders, but also that some of the ideas and comments will be reflected upon -even acted upon - by those with the ability to direct the content, direction and operations of the newspaper itself - its journalists, editors and senior commercial management; and not least of all - its owners The New York Times.

Were the IHT to openly publish on their own web site ALL letters sent to the editor (the rantings of the mentally ill, which all newspapers receive, excluded), rather than the very few which are published each day in the print edition, then this blog may no longer serve any purpose.

Indeed, that issue itself is perhaps where I should begin.

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